Chapter summary and practice

In this chapter, we covered may different ways to express various levels of necessity in our actions. We can now talk about required and optional activities, ask for permission, make requests, and more. This is useful for navigating through the rules and manners of society, especially one with a very different culture like Japan. Another common application of what we learned in this chapter is to talk about your duties and responsibilities either at work, home, or school.

We also learned how to give and receive things or favors. This is particularly useful for talking about gift-giving and getting assistance on various things. In particular, the section on making suggestions will allow you to ask for advice on how to best way to do things such as studying Japanese.

Below are a list of sample topics you can write about or discuss with your conversation partner (either in casual or polite form as appropriate).

  1. 仕事や学校でどんなことをしないといけないの?
    What kind of things do you have to do at work or school?
  2. 日本語はどうやって勉強すればいいと思いますか。
    How (do you) think (I) should study Japanese?
  3. 自分の国ではどんな時にプレゼントをもらったり、あげたりしますか。
    At what kind of times do (you) receive or give presents in one’s own country?

Making commands

In this section, we will learn the command form, which as the name suggests, is used to issue commands to others.

Using 「~なさい」 for polite command

「~なさい」 is the “polite” way to tell others what to do. It’s used by attaching 「なさい」 to the verb stem.

It’s polite grammatically but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re ordering others around, which is not very polite generally. It’s most commonly used by parents or other authority figures toward children.


  1. 早く出かける準備をしなさい
    Hurry up and prepare to go out.
  2. ちゃんと約束時間を守りなさいよ。
    Please properly keep the promised time.

In casual speech, the 「~なさい」 can also be shortened to just 「な」


  1. 早く出かける準備をしな
    Hurry up and prepare to go out.
  2. ちゃんと約束時間を守りなよ。
    Please properly keep the promised time.

Comic 15 – 女性の頼み方


art by Josh Khoo
  1. 女性 【じょせい】 – woman; female
  2. 頼む 【たの・む】(u-verb) – to make a request
  3. 丁寧 【てい・ねい】(na-adj, n) polite
  4. すみません – sorry (polite)
  5. これ – this
  6. ちょっと – a little (casual)
  7. 見る 【み・る】(ru-verb) – to see
  8. 冷たい 【つめ・たい】(i-verb) – cold (to the touch); coldhearted
  9. そう – so
  10. 手伝う 【て・つだ・う】(u-verb) – to help
  11. あげる (ru-verb) – to give; to raise
  12. 気持ち 【き・もち】 – feeling, mood
  13. まったく- at all, entirely
  14. ある (u-verb) – to exist (inanimate)
  15. 分かる 【わ・かる】 (u-verb) – to understand
  16. 好き 【す・き】 (na-adj) – likable
  17. する (exception) – to do
  18. 萌え 【もえ】budding, having a crush
  19. あのう/あの – say; well; errr
  20. 先輩 【せん・ぱい】- senior (at work or school)
  21. 運ぶ 【はこ・ぶ】(u-verb) – to carry, to transport
  22. もらう (u-verb) – to receive
  23. 物 【もの】 – thing
  24. 駄目 【だ・め】 (na-adj) – no good
  25. 脅迫 【きょう・はく】- threat, coercion
  26. あら – oh my
  27. どこ – where
  28. 行く 【い・く】 – to go
  29. 付き合う 【つ・き・あ・う】(u-verb) – to keep company with, to go out with
  30. くれる (ru-verb) – to give
  31. さもないと – otherwise, or else



あのう、先輩、運んでもらいたい物があるんですけど・・・ ダメ?


Toggle Translations

Sorry. Can you look at this a bit?

I see. Seems like you have absolutely no feeling of wanting to help. (I) got it. Go ahead and do as (you) please.

Umm… senpai. There’s something I want you to move but… is it bad?

Oh my, where (are you) going? Can (you) accompany (me) for a bit, or else…

Wanting others to do something

We can use the i-adjective 「欲しい」, which means “desired” or “wanted” with verbs to say you want somebody to do something. This is done by first conjugating the verb to the te-form, then attaching 「欲しい」(or ほしい) to the end of the verb. The result remains an i-adjective.


  1. 郵便局に行って欲しいんだけど、大丈夫?
    (I) want (you) to go to (the) post office but (is it) ok?
  2. 言っていることがいまいち分からないから、何をしてほしいのかはっきり教えてよ。
    (I) don’t really understand what (you are) saying so please tell me what (you) want (me) to do clearly.

Command Form

This command form is quite rude so you should use it with caution (if at all). As we learned just in this chapter, there are many other more polite ways to make a request.

Command form conjugation rules

  1. For ru-verbs: Replace the last 「る」 with 「ろ」
    Example: 食べ + ろ = 食べ
  2. For u-verbs: Replace the last u-vowel sound with the e-vowel equivalent
    Example: 買 + え = 買
  3. Exceptions:
    1. する → しろ
    2. くる → こい
    3. くれる → くれ (exception for this conjugation only, not an exception verb)

Negative Command

In order to command others to not do an action, simply attach 「な」 to the end of the verb.


  1. 秘密だから、誰にも言うなよ。
    (It’s a) secret so don’t tell anybody.
  2. 余計なことをするな
    Don’t do something unnecessary.

Do NOT confuse this negative command with the shortened form of 「~なさい」 we just learned. The latter is using the stem of the verb while the negative command uses just the dictionary form.

  1. これを食べな
    Eat this.
  2. これを食べるな
    Don’t eat this.
  1. ここに座りな
    Sit here.
  2. ここに座るな
    Don’t sit here.

Causative and passive verbs

Causative Verb Form

The causative form gets its name because it causes something to happen either by making or letting somebody do the action. While it may seem odd to have the exact same verb form for two very different uses, we’ll find that it’s not hard to tell which is intended when given the proper context. Below are the rules for conjugating a verb to the causative form. All verbs in the causative form are ru-verbs.

Rules for causative form conjugation

  • For ru-verbs: Replace the last 「る」 with 「させる」.

    1. 食べ+させる = 食べさせる
    2. +させる = 出させる
  • For u-verbs: Change the last character as you would for negative verbs but attach 「せる」 instead of 「ない」.

    1. +ま+せる = 飲ませる
    2. +た+せる = 持たせる
    3. +わ+せる = 買わせる
  • Exceptions:
    1. する → させる
    2. くる → こさせる


  1. 私にもやらせてよ。
    Let me do it too.
  2. びっくりさせないでよ。
    Don’t make me surprised. (Don’t scare me.)
  3. 無理矢理にお酒を飲ませるのはよくないよな。
    (It’s) not good to forcibly make (someone) drink alcohol, huh?
  4. もう来ていましたか。待たせてごめんなさい。
    (You’re) were already here? Sorry (I) made (you) wait.

Passive Verb Form

The passive form is used to change the verb into a passive voice. A verb in the passive form is always a ru-verb. The conjugation rule for ru-verbs is the same as the rule for potential form. However, it’s not really hard to tell them apart given enough context.

Rules for passive form conjugation

  • For ru-verbs: Replace the last 「る」 with 「られる」.

    1. 食べ+られる = 食べられる
    2. +られる = 出られる
  • For u-verbs: Change the last character as you would for negative verbs but attach 「れる」 instead of 「ない」.

    1. +ま+れる = 飲まれる
    2. +た+れる = 持たれる
    3. +わ+れる = 買われる
  • Exceptions:
    1. する → される
    2. くる → こられる


  1. 姉にばれたら何をされるか分からないよ。
    If (my) older sister finds out, (I) don’t know what will be done (to me).
  2. 変な人だと思われたくない
    (I) don’t want to be thought of as (a) strange person.
  3. 先から誰かに見られている気がしない?
    Doesn’t it feel like (we’re) being watch by someone from just a while ago?
  4. 行かないでと言われても約束だから行かないとだめだよ。
    Even if I’m told, “Don’t go”, (it’s a) promise so (I) have to go, you know.

Using Causative and Passive together

The causative and passive conjunctions can be used together to describe being made to do something. The rules are simple, you simple need to conjugate the verb to the causative and then conjugate the resulting ru-verb to the passive form.


  1. 待たせられるのは、嫌いでしょう?
    Don’t (you) hate being made to wait?
  2. 子供の時に、色々な物を食べさせられたから、好き嫌いは、あまりないよ。
    As a child, (I) was made to eat various things so (I) don’t have a lot of likes/dislikes.
  3. させられたと言うけど、結局、それはあんたのためだったんでしょう?
    (You) say (you) were made to do (it) but in the end, (it) was for your benefit, right?

Comic 16 – バカな日本語を考えさせないでよ


art by Angela Lee
  1. バカ (n/na-adj) – fool; stupid
  2. 日本語 【に・ほん・ご】 – Japanese language
  3. 考える 【かんが・える】(ru-verb) – to think
  4. この – this
  5. 宿題 【しゅく・だい】 – homework
  6. 全然 【ぜん・ぜん】 – not at all (when used with negative)
  7. 分かる 【わ・かる】 (u-verb) – to understand; to know
  8. 言う 【い・う】 (u-verb) – to say
  9. 文法 【ぶん・ぽう】 – grammar
  10. 使う 【つか・う】(u-verb) – to use
  11. 例文 【れい・ぶん】 – example sentence
  12. 教える 【おし・える】(ru-verb) – to teach; to inform
  13. じゃ – then; so; well
  14. これ – this
  15. どう – how
  16. ずっと – a long time
  17. 一緒 【いっ・しょ】 – together
  18. いる (u-verb) – to exist (animate)
  19. ロマンチック – romantic
  20. なんか – something
  21. セクハラ – sexual harassment
  22. くれる (ru-verb) – to give
  23. それじゃ – well then
  24. M 【えむ】 – slang for masochist
  25. なる (u-verb) – to become
  26. 正直 【しょう・じき】 – honesty; honestly
  27. 私 【わたし】 – polite, gender-neutral
  28. やめる (ru-verb) – to stop; to quit









Toggle Translations

John: Don’t get this homework at all. Can (you) teach (me) an example sentence (that) uses させる grammar?

Alice: Ok, how about this? Let me be together with you forever. Romantic, isn’t it?

John: Ok, what about “I was made to be together with you forever”?

Alice: Sounds like (you’re) being sexually harassed.

John: Ok then, what about “Please let me be made to be with you forever”?!

Alice: (It’s) turning out like something masochist.

John: Ok ok, what about “She won’t let me be made to be with her forever”??!

Alice: Honestly, I starting to not understand it either. Why don’t (you) stop thinking about stupid Japanese?

Making suggestions

We just learned various ways to make a request. Now, we are going to look at some ways to make suggestions or recommendations.

How about it?

The simplest way to make a suggestion is by using the word “how”: 「どう」. We already learned the grammar we need to do this with the 「の」 particle.


  1. 5時に会うのはどう
    How about meeting at 5:00?
  2. 先生に相談してみるのはどうですか。
    How about trying to confer with (the) teacher?

Another very similar pattern is to use the 「たら」 conditional to ask, “how about if”.


  1. 5時に会ったらどう
    How about if (we) meet at 5:00?
  2. 先生に相談してみたらどうですか。
    How about if (you) try to confer with (the) teacher.

It’s better to do this

Another option is to use a comparison 「方」 to say it’s better to do one thing versus the alternative. Using the past tense of the verb in this pattern makes the suggestion more particular to the situation at hand and hence makes it sound a bit stronger.


  1. 病院に行った方がいいよ。
    It’s better (for you) to go to hospital. (You should go to the hospital.)
  2. 病院に行く方がいいよ。
    It’s better to go to hospital.
  3. ひざが痛いですけど、病院に行った方がいいですか。
    (My) knee hurts but is (it) better to go to the hospital?

Asking for suggestions

We just learned how to ask if it’s better to do one thing by using a comparison with 「いい」. We can also ask for suggestions on what to do by using the conditional and 「いい」 as shown in the examples below.


  1. 9時に行けばいいの?
    I should go at 9 o’clock?
    lit: If (I) go at 9 o’clock, is (it) good?
  2. どうすればいいですか。
    What should (I) do?
    lit: If (I) do how, will (it) be good?
  3. ジャズは何から聴いたらいいですか。
    What should (I) start listening from for Jazz?
    lit: As for Jazz, if (I) start listening from what, is (it) good?












Making firm requests

While we learned how to ask for favors in the last section, in this section we’ll learn various ways to make firmer requests in the form of a statement.

Using 「ください」 to make a firm request

「ください」(下さい) is a polite way to make a firm request for something. It can also be used with the te-form of a verb to request an action. It can be written in either Kanji or Hiragana though it’s more common to use Hiragana when combined with a verb.


  1. あのペンを下さい
    Please give me that pen.
  2. あのペンを使ってください
    Please use that pen.

Negative verb with 「ください」

In order to ask to not do something, take the negative of the word, attach 「で」, then attach 「ください」 similar to the rule we learned in the last section.


  1. ボールペンは使わないでください
    Please don’t use (a) pen.
  2. 着替え中ですから入らないでください
    (I’m) changing so please don’t come in.

Casual version of 「ください」

「ください」 is a polite expression so in order to say the same thing for casual situation, we can simply drop 「ください」 entirely.

  1. あのペンを使って
    Please use that pen.
  2. ボールペンは使わないで
    Please don’t use (a) pen.

Using 「ちょうだい」 for casual requests

「ちょうだい」 can be used instead of 「ください」 for casual speech. While 「ちょうだい」 can be used by anyone, it does have a slight feminine and childish nuance.


  1. あのペンをちょうだい
    Give me that pen.
  2. あのペンを使ってちょうだい
    Use that pen.

Doing favors for others

We can use the three words we just learned for giving and receiving with other verbs to express the action as a favor. This construction is used to make requests and do things for others.

Giving and receiving favors

In order to use one of the three words we learned for giving and receiving with another verb, first change the verb to the te-form and then attach the word for giving or receiving to the end of the verb.


  1. 頭が悪いから先生が特別に説明をしてくれた
    (I’m) not smart so (the) teacher explained (it) specially for me.
  2. お金がないから、昼ご飯をおごってくれる
    (I) don’t have money so will (you) treat me to lunch for me?
  3. これが欲しいなら、買ってあげるよ。
    If (you) want this, (I will) buy (it) for you, you know.
  4. 今はちょっと手が離せないので、後で電話してもらえますか。
    (I’m) in the middle of something now so can you call (me) later?

Requesting to not do something

In order to express the negative, ie to give the favor of not doing the action, change the verb to the negative, attach 「で」, then the word for giving or receiving.


  1. 突然変なことを言わないでくれる
    Can you not say strange thing(s) all of a sudden?
  2. 勉強しているからうるさくしないでくれる
    (I’m) studying so can you not do noisily for me?
  3. 今月の家計はきついからしばらくはお金を使わないでもらえる
    This month’s family finance is tight so can (I) receive favor of not using money for a while?


父: おい、アリス!

アリス: 何よ?

父: そこの窓を閉めてくれないか?

アリス: わざわざ目の前にある窓を閉めてもらうために私を大声で呼んだの?しかも、別の部屋から。

父: いいことを教えてあげよう。お前もいつか子供が出来たらこんなのも出来るんだって。

アリス: 自分の子供をこき使うのがそんなにいいの?

父: こき使うって、お前、学校で日本語の勉強を始めたら、妙なことを言うようになったな。他の生徒から変な日本語を習っていないだろうか?

アリス: ・・・さすがにそれはないと思う。

Toggle Translations

Father: Hey, Alice!

Alice: What?

Father: Can you close that window (for me)?

Alice: (You) went out of your way to call with loud voice to (receive favor of) closing window in front of (your) eyes? Not to mention, from (a) separate room.

Father: Let me (give you favor of) teaching good thing. That when you have kids one day, you can do this kind of thing.

Alice: Is it so good to push around your own child like that?

Father: Push around… (you’ve) started saying some strange things once (you) started learning Japanese. (You’re) not learning strange Japanese from the other students, right?

Alice: …That I’m pretty sure is not the case.

Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving whether it’s objects or favors is a bit more complicated in Japanese because you need to be aware of the social status between the giver and the receiver. Basically, there are two words for giving and one word for receiving listed below.


  1. あげる (ru-verb) – to give; to raise
  2. くれる (ru-verb) – to give
  3. もらう (u-verb) – to receive

In this section, we’ll look at examples of when to use which words for giving and receiving.

Using 「あげる」 to give “upwards”

The word 「あげる」, which also means to “raise” is used when giving upwards to a person of a higher social status. The important thing to remember is that the speaker is always below everybody else. As a result, when the speaker is giving something to somebody else, he/she must always use 「あげる」. In other words, when you, yourself, is giving something, you must always use 「あげる」.


  1. これをあげるよ。
    (I’ll) give this to (you).
  2. 私は、昨日弟にプレゼントをあげたよ。
    I gave (my) younger brother (the) present yesterday, you know.
  3. 私が買った飲み物だから、あげませんよ。
    I bought (the) drink so (I’m) not going to give it (to you).

Using 「くれる」 to give “downwards”

The word 「くれる」 is used to give downwards to a person of a lower social status. Once again, because the speaker is at the bottom, everything given to the speaker will always use 「くれる」. In other words, everything given to you must be expressed with 「くれる」.


  1. それをくれるの?
    (Are you) giving that to (me)?
  2. 彼氏は、私の誕生日に何もくれなかったよ!
    (My) boyfriend didn’t give my anything on my birthday!
  3. もうすこし時間をくれませんか?
    Can (you) give (me) a little more time?

Using 「もらう」 to receive

There is only one word for receiving something so you don’t have to worry about which one to use.


  1. 友達からチケットをもらった
    (I) received (a) ticket from friend.
  2. もう高校生だから、今年はお年玉をもらえなかった
    Because (I’m) already (a) high school student, (I) couldn’t receive (the) New Year’s gift.

Comic 14 – バレンタインとホワイトデー

White Day is a holiday a month after Valentine’s day where men who received chocolate are expected to return the favor by giving gifts.


art by Josh Khoo
  1. 明日 【あした】 – tomorrow
  2. バレンタイン – Valentine’s (Day)
  3. 何 【なに】 – what
  4. チョコ – chocolate
  5. あげる (ru-verb) – to give; to raise
  6. 義理 【ぎ・り】 – duty; obligation
  7. くれる (ru-verb) – to give
  8. もらう (u-verb) – to receive
  9. 嬉しい 【うれ・しい】 (i-adj) – happy
  10. いや – no (casual)
  11. 全然 【ぜん・ぜん】 (adv) – 1) not at all (negative), 2) entirely, completely
  12. そう – so
  13. ホワイトデー – White Day
  14. 素敵 【す・てき】 (i-adj) – lovely; splendid
  15. お返し 【お・かえ・し】 – return gift; return favor
  16. お楽しみ 【お・たの・しみ】 – enjoyment, pleasure
  17. お楽しみにする 【お・たの・しみにする】 (exp) – to look forward to
  18. ちょっと – a little
  19. 待つ 【ま・つ】 (u-verb) – to wait

John: Tomorrow is Valentine, isn’t it?

Alice: So? (I’m) won’t give (you) chocolate.

John: Not even obligatory chocolate?

Alice: (You) won’t be happy to get (an) obligatory chocolate, right?

John: No, (I’ll) be totally happy, you know?

Alice: Is that so? Ok, (I) will be looking forward to (a) splendid return gift on White Day, then.

John: Huh? Wait a moment. What’s White Day?

Choosing the right words for giving and receiving

Choosing the right words for giving and receiving can be a bit confusing at first so lets look at a few ways to help you decide which word to use for giving and receiving.

Deciding between giving and receiving

In English, giving and receiving is simply a difference of viewpoint. For example, “I received a present from John” means practically the same thing as “John gave me a present” The same applies for Japanese as shown in the examples below.

  1. ジョンにプレゼントをもらった
    (I) received present from John.
  2. ジョンがプレゼントをくれた
    John gave (me) present.

Translated to English, both sentences essentially mean “John bought present for me”. While the viewpoint is reversed, essentially they are saying the same thing.

We don’t have to worry about which word to use for receiving because there is only one. So let’s look at how to decide which word to use for giving.

Giving from the speaker’s point of view

The easiest and most common scenario is when you, yourself is the one giving or receiving. As previously mentioned, because the speaker is always at the bottom, he/she will always use 「あげる」 to give to others and 「くれる」 when others give to the speaker.

  1. 私にくれるの?
    Are (you) giving (it) to me?
  2. 私があげるの?
    I’m giving (it) to you?

Using the same logic, it’s safe to say the following will always be incorrect regardless of the social status of the other person.

  1. 私にあげるの?
  2. 私がくれるの?

Giving from 3rd person’s point of view

The only scenario left is when both the giver and receiver is different from the speaker. This is the only ambiguous scenario where either 「くれる」 or 「あげる」 can be used. Basically, the speaker must choose which viewpoint he/she wants to look at the situation from.

For example, let’s say you wanted to know if Aさん gave Bさん a present. If you were asking Aさん, you would use 「あげる」 because you are looking at it from Aさん’s perspective as the giver.

Aさんは、Bさんにプレゼントをあげましたか? (Asking Aさん)

If you were asking Bさん, you would use 「くれる」 because you are looking at it from Bさん’s perspective as the receiver.

Aさんは、Bさんにプレゼントをくれましたか? (Asking Bさん)

In summary, deciding which word to use in this scenario can be described in two steps.

  1. Pick a perspective either as the giver or receiver
  2. Use 「あげる」 if from giver’s perspective or 「くれる」 if from receiver’s perspective (same as if you were the giver)

Required actions

We learned how to say we don’t have to do something in the last section but we did not cover how to talk about things that have to be done. Because of the way it’s phrased in Japanese, the grammar for saying something has to be done is completely different than the grammar for saying something doesn’t have to be done.

First, let’s look at how to express something that one must not do.

Things that one must not do

Things that one must not do are expressed by using one of the three words: 「いけない」、「ならない」、 and 「だめ」. These are all negative expressions (the first two is actually using the negative form) meaning that something won’t do or is no good. Conjugating these expressions are simple if we know where they originate from.

  1. いける (ru-verb) – can work; can make it; lit: can go (potential form of 「行く」)
  2. なる (u-verb) – to become
  3. 駄目 【だ・め】 (na-adj) – no good

While we can use 「いけない」 and 「だめ」 by themselves as shown in the examples below 「ならない」 cannot be used by itself.


  1. ここで携帯を使うのはだめ
    Is using cell phone here bad?
  2. それはいけませんね。
    That’s wrong/bad/no good.
  3. ご両親に教えたのがいけなかったんだよ。
    Telling (your) parents is what was no good.

We can use either of the three words with verbs to say that action is no good or in essence, “one must not do the action” by using the following rule.

How to say: Must not [verb]

  • Take the te-form of the verb, add the 「は」 (wa) particle and then attach either 「いけない」、「ならない」、 or 「だめ」.

    1. 食べて+は+いけない/ならない/だめ
      = 食べてはいけない、食べてはならない、食べてはだめ
    2. 買って+は+いけない/ならない/だめ
      = 買ってはいけない、買ってはならない、買ってはだめ
    3. して+は+いけない/ならない/だめ
      = してはいけない、してはならない、してはだめ


  1. 男の人はここに入ってはいけませんよ。
    Men must not enter here, you know.
  2. お酒を飲んだ人は、車を運転してはならない
    People who drank alcohol must not drive cars.

  3. 悪い言葉を生徒に教えてはだめですよ。
    (You) must not teach students bad words, you know.

Things that must be done

In order to say that something must be done, we say not doing something is bad by using the previous grammar we just learned but with negative verbs. You can also use two of the conditionals we learned in the last chapter. This grammar may be a bit confusing at first because we need to use double negatives to say one must do something.

How to say: Must [verb]

  1. Negative te-form +「は」 (wa) particle + いけない/ならない/だめ
  2. Negative verb + 「と」(conditional) + いけない/ならない/だめ
  3. Negative verb + 「ば」 conditional + いけない/ならない/だめ

art by Josh Khoo

Comic 13

  1. 先生 【せん・せい】 – teacher
  2. トイレ – toilet; bathroom
  3. 行く 【い・く】 – to go
  4. いい (i-adj) – good
  5. また – again
  6. 駄目 【だ・め】 (na-adj) – no good
  7. 無駄 【む・だ】 (na-adj) – futile
  8. 短い 【みじか・い】 (i-adj) – short
  9. 間 【あいだ】 – interval (between)
  10. 宿題 【しゅく・だい】 (n) – homework
  11. 出来る 【で・き・る】 (ru-verb) – to be able to do

John: Teacher, can (I) go to the bathroom?

Teacher: (You) have to go again?

Alice: (It’s) useless, you know. (You) can’t do something like homework in (the) short interval of going to the bathroom.


  1. この薬は一日に三回飲まなくてはなりません
    (You) have to take this medicine 3 times a day.
  2. 明日までに宿題をしないといけない
    (I) have to do homework by tomorrow.
  3. まだ早いのにもう帰らなければいけないんですか。
    Even though (it’s) still early, do (you) have to go home?

Casual variatons

There are a couple of casual variations of the grammar we just learned listed below.

Casual shortcuts for required actions

  1. Replace 「ては」 with 「ちゃ」
  2. Replace 「ければ」 with 「きゃ」


  1. 男の人はここに入っちゃだめよ。
    Men must not enter here, you know.
  2. まだ早いのにもう帰らなきゃいけないの?
    Even though (it’s) still early, do (you) have to go home?

Things can get quite lengthy with the double negative required to describe an action that must be done. When using the casual variations with the negative, you can also omit the 「いけない/ならない/だめ」 part of the grammar. This also applies to the 「と」 conditional.


  1. もっと勉強しなくちゃ
    (I) have to study more.
  2. 明日までに宿題をしないと
    (I) have to do homework by tomorrow.
  3. もう帰らなきゃ.
    (I) have to go home already.


Things of no consequence

The expressions “even if”, “regardless”, or “no matter” are used when something is of no consequence to something else. In Japanese, the same notion is expressed by combining the te-form with the 「も」 inclusive particle.


  1. 東京 【とう・きょう】 – Tokyo
  2. どこ – where
  3. 行く 【い・く】 (u-verb) – to go
  4. とても – very
  5. 込む 【こ・む】 (u-verb) – to become crowded
  6. 気 【き】 – mood; intent
  7. する (exception) – to do
  8. 何回 【なん・かい】 – how many number of times
  9. 聞く 【き・く】 (u-verb) – to ask; to listen
  10. 答え 【こた・え】 – answer
  11. 同じ 【おな・じ】 – same
  12. 大学 【だい・がく】 – college
  13. いい (i-adj) – good
  14. 仕事 【し・ごと】 – job
  15. 見つかる 【み・つかる】 (u-verb) – to be found
  16. この – this (abbr. of これの)
  17. アルバイト – part-time job
  18. 学生 【がく・せい】 – student
  19. 出来る 【で・き・る】 (ru-verb) – to be able to do
  1. 東京は、どこに行ってもとても込んでいる気がする。
    As for Tokyo, (it) feels like it’s crowded wherever (you) go.
  2. 何回も聞いても答えは同じだよ。
    Answer is the same no matter how many times (you) ask.
  3. 大学に行かなくても、いい仕事は見つかりますか?
    Will (I) find (a) good job even if (I) don’t go to college?
  4. このアルバイトは、学生でも出来ますか?
    Can (I) do this part-time job even if (I’m a) student?

Asking for permission

We can also ask for or grant permission by saying it’s ok or fine even if we do a certain action using the same 「~ても/~でも」 grammar.


  1. トイレに行ってもいいですか。
    Is it fine even if (I) go to the toilet?
  2. お姉さんが、食べてもいいと言ったよ。
    Older sister said it’s fine to eat (it).
  3. くても来週までは大丈夫だ。
    Even if it’s late, it’s fine until next week.
  4. 身分証は、学生証でも大丈夫ですか。
    As for identification, it is ok even if it’s (a) student id?

Things we don’t have to do

If we say it’s ok or fine even if we don’t do something by using the negative form, it means we don’t have to do it.


  1. 何もしなくてもいい
    Don’t have to do anything.
    lit: (It’s) good even if (you) do nothing.
  2. 明日は休日だから、来なくても大丈夫ですよ。
    Tomorrow is (a) holiday, so (you) don’t have to come, you know.
    lit: Because tomorrow is (a) holiday, (it’s) ok even if (you) don’t come.

Chapter Overview

In this chapter, we will learn how to talk about things that one may or may not have to do. This includes asking for favors, making requests and suggestions, and the various command forms.